San Fernando Valley’s above-and-beyond volunteers shine at prestigious Fernando Awards – Daily News

on Sep29
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It was a night for givers.

Mike Quiroga accepts The Fernando Award at its gala on Sept. 27, 2019, at the Skirball Cultural Center (Photo by Tom Bray, LA Daily News/SCNG).

And a Bolivian immigrant who planted roots with a San Fernando Valley roofing business was named the biggest of them all for 2019.

Mike Quiroga took home The Fernando Award, a prestigious honor that shines the spotlight on the 818’s volunteers and philanthropists.

That light shone bright at the Skirball Cultural Center Friday night, where a gala brought together among the Valley’s most active givers who have made an impact in the area.

Quiroga, who came to the United States at the age of 23, was among five finalists for the award.

In the end, it was his “countless hours” of volunteer work with local organizations that prompted the award foundation to give the honor to the founder of Mike’s Roofing and Building Service.

Those tasks included work with the Therapeutic Living Centers for the Blind, Mid Valley YMCA, Tierra del Sol and the Mid Valley American Heart Association, along with his efforts to build job training programs and connections to local chambers of commerce and donations to groups including Van Nuys Rotary and to El Centro de Amistad.


“We see a need in the community and just do something about it,” said Quiroga, as he accepted the honor.

He joined four others as finalists:

  • Jane Skeeter:  Skeeter is CEO and Founder of UltraGlas Inc., which manufactures architectural and high-performance glass and glass tile. She has been an active supporter of the west Valley Boys & Girls Club.
  • Steve Fazio:  Fazio is head of Fazio Enterprises, which owns the Fazio Cleaners chain that has several outlets in the greater Los Angeles area. His reserve work with the LAPD was highly noted.
  • Jeff Friedman: Friedman has been involved in several organizations for the past several decades, many of them involving senior issues, including the Alzheimer’s Association—San Fernando Valley and California Southland Chapter where since 1993 he has helped the organization raise millions of dollars.
  • Scott Silverstein: Silverstein has been a volunteer and Board member at the Child Development Institute, where his support was said to be “critical” to creating the organization’s Early Learning Center.

All have been deeply involved in local groups and organizations, helping those who need help the most.

The awards started when a post-World War II group of business owners put together an honor to promote and recognize lifetime volunteerism in the area. Something civic-minded. Friday’s award was the 61st.

Past awards have gone to such people as Olympic Gold Medalist Rafer Johnson; Bill Allen, chief executive officer of Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation; and Armand Arabian, former associate justice of the California Supreme Court.

There are two local monuments that honor past recipients of the award — one at the Van Nuys Civic Center, and the other at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills. Both are in need of being refurbished, a wish that has been granted and is in the works, thanks to the help of local elected officials, award officials announced Friday night.

The Fernando Awards Foundation also gave out scholarships to promote a spirit of giving among young people. Recipients were:

  • Steven Edward Bash, El Camino Real Charter High School, Woodland Hills;
  • Aissatou Cisse, Cleveland Charter High School, Reseda;
  • Bryan Delgado, James Monroe High School, North Hills;
  • Daniel Joo, North Hollywood High School, North Hollywood;
  • Phasja Elizabeth Kelley, Notre Dame High School, Sherman Oaks;
  • Katelynn Le, Granada Hills Charter High School, Granada Hills;
  • Salvador Ramirez, Jr., North Hollywood High School, North Hollywood;
  • Eunice Castro Rodriguez, Taft Charter High School, Woodland Hills;
  • Natalee Sanchez, Granada Hills Charter High School, Granada Hills;
  • Calvin Stephens, El Camino Real Charter High School, Woodland Hills.

The foundation also honored individuals and organizations with its Impact Awards. Honorees this year were Ronald Arthur Villafana and Susan Villafana, Patti Jo Wolfson. The “Corporate” Impact Awards went to Boston Private Bank and Trust and the Los Angeles Daily News.

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